Educational Resources

“Divorce Day” is Different Down Under

Written by Russell Alexander / (905) 655-6335

An interesting recent piece in an Australian online source declares December 11 of each year is the most common day for breakups in that country.  According to the article, this pervasive relationship end-date was identified as part of research conducted over Facebook data (which – let’s face it – might be skewed to an slightly older demographic). For those who don’t want to do the math, December 11th falls exactly two weeks before Christmas Day.

Here in Canada, our Law Firm has identified a different date for what we call “Divorce Day”:  It’s the first Monday in January of each year.  (This year, with the New Year’s Day holiday being a Monday, we’re predicting it to fall a week later on January 8th, and perhaps a few days before/after).

Divorce Day is annual date on which we identify a noticeable surge in calls to the Firm, asking about the laws on separation and divorce.  Between January 3rd and 7th of 2022, for example, we recorded 68 percent more inquiries from potential clients, than during the previous record which was set in the summer.

As we wrote in last year’s Blog on the topic, we can only speculate on the reason for this.  Common theories include unhappy partners’ desire to have a “fresh start” in the new year, by leaving their dead or dying relationship right after the buzz of the holidays is over. Other reasons might include the financial benefits associated with timing for taxes, and a desire to avoid disrupting the children’s holiday by splitting sooner.

No matter what the cause, the Divorce Day uptick in calls is so prevalent in Family Law circles that our firm’s own Russell Alexander was interviewed about the phenomenon by Global News. Our firm even has a 1-hour presentation currently available on YouTube that covers topics like:

  1. What is divorce day and why January each year?
  2. The difference between separation and divorce
  3. Common Law
  4. Living Separate and Apart under the Same Roof
  5. The Importance of the Date of Separation
  6. Cooling off periods in the Divorce Act
  7. What are possible financial scenarios for the matrimonial home?
  8. This can be scary, what happens next?
  9. Kitchen table agreements, Disclosure, and Independent Legal Advice
  10. Quick Tips
  11. Counselling Services

It’s unclear why unhappy Australians prefer mid-December for breaking up, while Canadians couples seem to make a break in early January – a time when many people make New Year’s Resolutions as well. Whatever minor timing differences there may be, the common theme is that many people decide to change their lives around this time of year – hopefully for the better.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.